Jun 24, 2011 9:51am
Re: Cincinnati 6-24-85
I wrote a review of this fine show a while back as part of my Ohio project.
06-24-85 - River Bend Music Center, Cincinnati, Oh
1: Alabama> Greatest, TLEO, Minglewood, Tennessee Jed, Esau, Loser, Let It Grow
2: Iko Iko> Samson> He's Gone> Smokestack> Cryptical> Drumz> Comes a Time> Other One> Cryptical> Wharf Rat> Around> Good Lovin E: U. S. Blues
I tell you, you just have to love these summer ’85 shows – jumping from one beautiful outdoor venue to another. And so many good ones from that tour! Alpine! The Greek! Merriweather! And these Ohio shows are no slouches either—like the others, they’re filled with nice little surprises like Comes a Time, Cryptical, and even super-rarities like Day Tripper!
Pretty nice ‘Bama Getaway>GSET to start things off. Jerry’s vocals are loud and clear on Alabama, with nice licks peppered throughout both tunes. TLEO is a welcome selection in the three-hole, though Jerry butchers the vocals in the second verse. If you can get past that, there is some decent musicianship on display here, but not as tight as the opening numbers. Bob says “Bluegrass phillies” during Minglewood. I’m guessing that’s because River Bend is just across the river from Kentucky. Jerry’s second solo (following Bob) is pretty amped up and fun, slicing and dicing his way to the “T for Texas” verse – “It’s T right here in Cincinnati...” Following T-Jed, Bob steps up the microphone and announces that they’ll be holding a raffle at the break, and that the winner “gets to hold the rhythm section hostage.” Funny stuff. Loser is only so-so, but not bad. Jerry sounds like he’s giving it his all though. By the time they get to Let it Grow it sounds like Jerry is ready to explode. Not a great performance technically, but spirited.
A somewhat subdued Iko starts what looks on paper to be one of those magical ’85 second sets. Samson is a real smoker, and you can sense Jerry really starting to open up during the jam, setting up a nice He’s Gone. The execution is decent and the Gone jam into a brief Smokestack and then on into Cryptical must have left the less sober members of the audience a little confused by the times drums came around. Points for creativity in the pre-drums.
This show has second break-out versions of both Cryptical and Comes a Time (both were brought out of retirement – in separate shows – earlier in the month at the Greek). These versions are probably better, especially Comes a Time, which segues into a nice spicy Other One and then back into Cryptical to complete the “That’s it for..” suite. As with many 80’s shows, the brief forays into old material sound a little rough in spots (see Cryptical) but Comes a Time> Other One is a true show-stopper and the unrivaled highlight of this show. The entire post-space shines at this show, including a poignant Wharf Rat – but all Jerry’s ballads were poignant in ’85, no? Still, the double-shot, post-space Jerry ballads of Comes a Time and Wharf are super-sweet. Healy’s board work is a little heavy-handed but occasionally brilliant.
Highlights: Comes a Time> Other One> Cryptical> Wharf